Hillel says,
“Be disciples of Aharon, loving peace, pursuing peace, loving people and drawing them near to the Torah.”
Pirkei Avot 1:13

 

Parashat Korach (Leviticus 16:1 – 18:32) is named for an extremely prominent individual in the Torah, Korach ben Yitzhar,

“Now Korach, the son of Yitzhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi…”
Numbers 16:1

Yitzhar, the father of Korach, was the brother of Amram, the father of Moshe Rabbeinu. Korach is an important Levite, a leader in Israel. R’ Ari Kahn explains,

“Just as the spies were great leaders, so was Korach, he was not a marginal character. After all, he was the one responsible for carrying the Ark: Our sages said: “Korach was exceedingly wise, and he was among the carriers of the Ark.” (Bamidbar Rabbah 18:3)
R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Korach, Aish.com [1]

Korach’s role in carrying the Ark means that he was a lower-dimensional representation of the role of the Chayyot, the Living Creatures, who are part of HaShem’s Throne. The Chayyot are extremely lofty angels, described in the book of Ezekiel and Revelation. The roles of the kohenim below are akin to the angels above, who minister in the Heavenly Temple. R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh describes Korach,

“Korach, like Moshe Rabbeinu, was a Levite and a well-respected leader in his tribe. Indeed, he too possessed a very great and lofty soul and his popularity among people misguided him causing him to dispute Moshe and his brother Aaron’s Divinely appointed leadership.”
R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org [2]

This should be reminiscent of the angel who rebelled against HaShem’s will, and now is in the role of the adversary. It is beyond the scope of this article to explore that topic in depth. Yet not only did Korach oppose Moshe and Aharon, he enlisted 250 leaders of Israel in his insurrection which led to division within the people of Israel. Rashi, R’ Shlomo Yitzhaki, comments,

“Korach took – he took himself away from the community.”
Rashi cited in Rebbe Nachman’s Torah, Volume 3

Extracting oneself from the community is spiritually dangerous. Hillel said,

“Do not separate yourself from the community.”
Pirkei Avot 2:4

In the Jewish world, the concept of community is far more developed than in other faith traditions. In Western culture, there are more churches than Starbucks locations, so if someone makes an attendee mad, they just choose another church to attend. In the Jewish community, everyone essentially lives in the same neighborhood, and the shul is around the corner, at a Shabbat walking distance (less than 2000 cubits). That means if one’s neighbor, Rabbi, or friend upsets them, they essentially have to work it out. This takes great humility on all sides. The book of Hebrews also says,

“Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25

Having a machlochet (a disagreement) can be difficult business, and there are two kinds. A machlochet l’shem Shamayim, a disagreement for the sake of Heaven, or a disagreement foro the sake of one’s ego. Speaking of ego, Rebbe Nachman comments that Korach wanted to be like Aaron. He advises,

“A person must be himself. He must create unity and peace between opposing sides. That is what mitigates Divine decrees (Likutey Moharan I, 46:3).”
Rashi cited in Rebbe Nachman’s Torah, Volume 3

There is a Chassidic story told of R’ Zusha of Hanipol,

“The story is told of Zusha, the great Chassidic master, who lay crying on his deathbed. His students asked him, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? After all the mitzvahs and good deeds you have done, you will surely get a great reward in heaven!” “I’m afraid!” said Zusha. “Because when I get to heaven, I know God’s not going to ask me ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses?’ or ‘Why weren’t you more like King David?’ But I’m afraid that God will ask ‘Zusha, why weren’t you more like Zusha?’ And then what will I say?!”
As Great as Moses, Aish.com [3]

Returning to the concept of division. To understand a Torah concept, we must go to the first mention of it, as it provides a template, a blueprint, or a lens through which we must view the topic. Division was first mentioned in the book of Genesis, on Yom Sheni (Day Two), where the upper waters were divided from the lower waters. The number two itself implies division, disunity, multiplicity. Interestingly, after HaShem creates the universe in six days, after each day he calls it “good” – except on Day Two. The Midrash comments, 

“Why does the Torah not say, “And G-d saw that it was good” on the second day of Creation (as it says in all other days)”? Because on that day divisiveness was created: As it is written (Genesis 1:6) “Let there be a firmament within the water, and it shall divide between water and water…”
Midrash Rabbah, cited at Chabad.org, Parsha in Depth [4]

Today, disunity, disorder, divisiveness and strife plague the world. Never before in history has the world been so divided between Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal, Believer and Atheist, Black and White, Male and Female. The major force of Marxism, and its political spawn, is built upon the idea of Conflict Theory, which pits the Oppressor vs the Oppressed, and seeks to divide and conquer, and sow division and discord in order to overthrow the status quo and reforge the world as a utopia. The end result has always ended in oppressive authoritarianism. The Talmud says,

“Anyone who engages in divisiveness transgresses a Divine prohibition, as it is written, “That he be not as Korach and his company.”
Sanhedrin 110a, Soncino Press Edition

Division within Israel is a grave sin, yet strife within communities of Jews and communities of believers is commonplace. It has become the norm. The prayer of Yeshua on the night of the Last Passover revealed his desire for unity,

“I not only pray for these, but also for those who believe in me through their message, that they all may be one; as You, Father, are in me, and I in You, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that You have sent me. And the glory which You gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and You in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent me, and have loved them, as You have loved me.”
John 20:23

The Psalms extol those who promote unity, with the famous song Hinei Mah Tov, that is still sung today,

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity! It is like precious oil on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aharon’s beard, that came down on the edges of his robes.”
Psalm 133:1-2

Notice that ‘unity’ is specifically connected to Aaron HaKohen. The rabbis say that Aharon was instrumental in bringing shalom bayit, peace within the home, to fractured marriages and relationships. Psalm 106 identifies Aharon as “HaShem’s holy one,” and that those who joined Korach were jealous,

“They were jealous of Moshe in the camp, and Aaron the holy one of HaShem. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. And a fire was kindled in their company. The flame burned up the wicked.”
Psalm 106:16-18

The Talmud lists Korach, Datan, Abiram along with other reshaim, wicked ones, in the Tanakh,

”Cain, Korah, Balaam, Doeg, Ahitophel, Gehazi, Absalom, Adonijah, Uzziah and Haman, who set their eyes upon that which was not proper for them; what they sought was not granted to them and what they possessed was taken from them.”
Sotah 9b

The New Testament comments similarly,

“Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the rebellion of Korach. These are grumblers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouths speak great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly desires. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit.”
Jude 1:11, 16, 19-20

Nevertheless, Korach and his party were swallowed into Gei-Hinnom alive due to their rebellion. According to Pirkei Avot, the mouth of the earth that swallowed Korach was one of the ten things that HaShem created on the eve of the first Shabbat,

“Ten things were created on the eve of the Sabbath at twilight, and these are they: 1) the mouth of the earth, 2) the mouth of the well, 3) the mouth of the donkey, 4) the rainbow, 5) the manna, 6) the staff [of Moses], 7) the shamir, 8) the letters, 9) the writing, 10) and the tablets.”
Pirkei Avot 5:6, Sefaria.org [5]

Included in the list above, is the Staff of Moshe. On the literal level, this is separate from the staff of Aharon, but on a deeper, Midrashic level, the two are one. Let us examine this staff.

THE STAFF

Unbelievably, after the earth literally swallows Korach and company, the community of Israel accused Moshe and Aharon of killing the people of HaShem, 

“Next day the whole Israelite community railed against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You two have brought death upon HaShem’s people!”
Numbers 17:6

This dispute over Aharon’s status as HaKohen HaMashiach, the Anointed Priest, apparently required further proof. The same can be said of the Messiah. In relation to the identity of the True Messiah, R’ Yehuda Chayoun writes,

“…if the Jews merit redemption, they will immediately recognize Moshiach by his signs and wonders. If they are unworthy, however, his authenticity will be questioned.”
R’ Yehudah Chayoun, Otzros Acharis HaYamim, When Moshiach Comes, Targum/Feldheim, pg. 119

To put an end to the dispute over the legitimacy of Aharon, HaShem commanded Moshe,

“Speak to the children of Israel, and take from every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write every man’s name upon his rod. And you shalt write Aharon’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.”
Numbers 17:1-3

The Staff of Aharon is the same staff through which the plagues of Egypt were performed. It became the Holy Snake that swallowed the serpents of Egypt, and struck the Nile river (Exodus 7:20). The word for staff is mateh, which also means ‘tribe’. Pirkei d’Rebbi Eliezer says of the Staff,

This staff was created at twilight of the sixth day of creation, and was given to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam gave it to Enoch, Enoch to Noah, Noah to Abraham, Abraham to Isaac, and Isaac to Jacob. Jacob brought it with him to Egypt and gave it to Joseph. When Joseph died, his house was looted, and the staff ended up in Pharaoh’s palace. Jethro, who was one of Pharaoh’s soothsayers, saw the staff with the mysterious markings on it and coveted it; he took it and planted it in the garden of his home, and no man was able to come close to it. When Moses came to Jethro’s house, he entered the garden, saw the staff and read the markings on it; he reached out his hand and plucked it from the ground. When Jethro saw this, he proclaimed, “This man shall redeem the people of Israel from Egypt,” and gave him his daughter Zipporah as a wife.”
Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 40 [6]

Jewish tradition attributes Excalibur like qualities to the staff, among other miraculous aspects. While not everything described in the Midrash is literal, one thing is for sure this Staff literally had special qualities through the Power of HaShem. After the Twelve Tribes provided their rods, each engraved with the name of the Tribal leader, Moshe put them in the Ohel Edut, the Tabernacle of Witness,

“And Moshe laid the rods before HaShem in the Tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass, that in the morning Moshe went into the Tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.”
Numbers 17:7-9

After the Staff was revealed, it was then concealed with the Ark, as the Jewish Encyclopedia summarizes,

“This supposed fact of the supernatural origin of the rod explains the statement in the New Testament (Heb. 9:4) and Tosef., Yoma, 3:7 (it is to be interpreted thus according to B. B. 14a), that Aaron’s Rod, together with its blossoms and fruit, was preserved in the Ark. King Josiah, who foresaw the impending national catastrophe, concealed the Ark and its contents (Tosefta Sotah, 13a); and their whereabouts will remain unknown until, in the Messianic age, the prophet Elijah shall reveal them (Mek. l.c.).”
Jewish Encyclopedia, Rod of Aaron [7]

Rabbeinu Bachya says,

“We have proof of the above from the Talmud, tractate Yuma folio 21, (based on Isaiah 35,2) as well as from the chapter in the Talmud discussing items in the Temple that were hidden to prevent them from falling into the hands of our enemies. Some sages believe that this staff of Aaron was hidden during that period, which would prove that it and its fruit had remained in prime condition for hundreds of years.”
Rabbeinu Bachya, Bamidbar 17:23:2 [8]

According to the Midrash, the Staff is destined to return, and be revealed in the hands of the King Messiah,

“AND THE STAFF OF AARON. That same staff was held in the hand of every king until the Temple was destroyed, and then it was [divinely] hidden away. That same staff also is destined to be held in the hand of the King Messiah (may it be speedily in our days!); as it says,’ The staff of your strength the Lord will send out of Zion: Rule in the midst of your enemies’ (Psalm 110:2).”
Numbers Rabbah 28:23, Soncino Press Edition

PSALM 110

Notice that the Midrash above applied Psalm 110 to the Mashiach. Like Isaiah 53, Psalm 110 is a battleground between missionaries and anti-missionaries in the world of Messianic Prophecy.  Psalm 110 is as follows,

“A Psalm by David. HaShem says to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool for your feet.’ HaShem will send forth the rod of your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people offer themselves willingly in the day of your power, in holy array. Out of the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth. HaShem has sworn, and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. The Lord is at your right hand. He will crush kings in the day of his wrath. He will judge among the nations. He will heap up dead bodies. He will crush the ruler of the whole earth. He will drink of the brook in the way; therefore he will lift up his head.”
Psalms 110:1-7

This passage has sparked ancient debate in days of the Second Temple,

“Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them a question, saying, What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? They said to him, Of David. He said to them, How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son? No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.”
Matthew 22:41-46

Today, it is no different. Anti-missionary rabbi Tovia Singer makes the following comment,

“No Jew who had even a superficial knowledge of the Jewish scriptures would have ever found Jesus’ argument compelling, let alone a conversation stopper. The depth of knowledge that the Pharisees possessed of Tanach was astounding.”
Rabbi Tovia Singer, Outreach Judaism, The Lord said to my Lord [9]

Is this true? Singer’s reasoning is that Psalm 110 was written by David, for the Levites to sing about him. Hence David is not calling Messiah “his lord” (adoni), but rather the Levites are calling David “my lord.” This interpretation raises interesting questions. Some interpret this passage as referring to Abraham,

“Hana b. Liwai said: Shem, [Noah’s] eldest son, said to Eliezer [Abraham’s servant], ‘When the kings of the east and west attacked you, what did you do?’ – He replied, ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, took Abraham and placed him at His right hand, and they [God and Abraham] threw dust which turned to swords and chaff which turned to arrows, as it is written, A Psalm of David. The Lord said unto my master, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Sanhedrin 108b, Soncino Press Edition

The Midrash Rabbah says,

“R. Ishmael and R. Akiba [reasoned as follows]. R. Ishmael said: Abraham was a High Priest, as it says, The Lord has sworn, and will not repent: You are a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4).”
Genesis Rabbah 46:5, Soncino Press Edition, Cf. Gen. Rabbah 55:6, 55:7, Lev. Rabbah 25:6, Deut. Rabbah 2:7

One thing we know for sure, is that whoever the speaker is in this psalm, the second “Lord” is greater than the speaker. While the above passages speak of Abraham as the one at God’s Right hand, the Midrash on Psalms places the Messiah there,

“R. Yudan said in the name of R. Hama: In the time-to-come, when the Holy One, blessed be He, seats the lord Messiah at His right hand, as is said The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at My right hand” (Ps. 110:1), and seats Abraham at His left, Abraham’s face will pale, and he will say to the Lord: “My son’s son sits at the right, and I at the left!” Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, will comfort Abraham, saying: “Your son’s son is at My right, but I, in a manner of speaking, am at your right”: The Lord [is] at your right hand (Ps. 110:5).
Midrash Tehillim 18.29, translated by R’ William G. Braude, Yale University Press Edition, pg. 261

Midrash Alpha Betot says,

“[God says:] “Ephraim, My firstborn, you sit on My right until I subdue the army of the hosts of God and Magog, your enemies, under your footstool . . .”
Midrash Alpha Betot 2:438-42, cited in the Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai

The Rashbi, R’ Shimon bar Yochai, is attributed as saying,

” . . .the Holy One, blessed be He, will fight for Israel and will say to the Messiah : “Sit at my right.” And the Messiah will say to Israel:”Gather together and stand and see the salvation of the Lord.” And instantly the Holy One, blessed be He, will go forth and fight against them . . .May that time and that period be near!”
Tefillat R’ Shimon ben Yochai, BhM 4:124-26 cited in the Messiah Texts, Raphael Patai

R’ Hillel Shklover, the disciple of the Vilna Gaon, entitled Kol HaTor (The Voice of the Turtledove), makes this statement,

 יָדִין בַּגֹּויִם מָלֵא גְוִיֹּות

He will judge the nations filled with corpses (Psalm 110:6) – The entire Psalm, beginning with “Sit on my right” was said about Mashiach ben Yosef, whose name is hinted at in the initial letters  יָדִין בַּגֹּויִם מָלֵא גְוִיֹּ֑ות going from left to right. . .”
Kol HaTor 2.61, translated by Rabbi Yechiel Bar Lev and K. Skaist, YedidNefesh.com

Indeed, the Pharisees did have a great depth of knowledge about the Tanakh, as Avot d’Rabbi Natan states,

“These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:14). This is a reference to Aaron and the Messiah, but I cannot tell which is the more beloved. However, from the verse, The Lord has sworn and will not repent: You are a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4), one can tell that the Messianic King is more beloved that the righteous priest.”
Avot d’Rabbi Natan, The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, Translated by Judah Goldin, Chapter 34, Yale University Press, pg. 137-138.

It should be noted that David is a template for Mashiach. Therefore, if the verse applies to David, it also applies to Mashiach. The most common argument against Yeshua’s messiahship from anti-missionaries is that Yeshua has not brought world peace. In fact, this is directly analogous to the argument made against Moshe by Datan and Aviram, who said,

“You have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey…!”
Numbers 16:14

Yeshua has fulfilled the prophecies related to Mashiach ben Yosef, and will indeed complete those of Mashiach ben David. Until then, he ascended into heaven as HaKohen HaMashiach, the Priest Messiah, in the Beit HaMikdash shel Maalah, after the order of Melchizedek. The mystic Rabbi Avraham Abulafia says of Mashiach,

“The more noble man in his species is Israel…and the most noble of Israel is Levi, and the most noble of Levi is the priest, and the most noble of the priest is the Messiah, who is the high priest, who is the greatest among his brethren, and knows the [divine] name and blesses the people of Israel by dint of the Explicit Name in the Temple…”
R’ Avraham Abulafia, Sefer Chayyei Olam Haba 13a, Ms. Oxford 1582, cited in Messianic Mystics, Moshe Idel, Yale University Press, pg. 95

RESURRECTION

Returning to the Secret of the Staff, What is the meaning of the almonds, buds and blossoms? Why did the Rod of Aharon sprout them? First, it seems likely that the staff must have originally been a Branch of an Almond Tree. The word for almond tree in Hebrew is שָׁקֵד, shaqeid. The almond was a design feature in the Menorah (Exodus 25:33-34). In Hebrew, wordplays are common, and oftentimes difficult for English to capture

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְי אֵלַי לֵאמֹר מָה־אַתָּה רֹאֶה יִרְמְיָהוּ וָאֹמַר מַקֵּל שָׁקֵד אֲנִי רֹאֶה׃ ויֹּאמֶר יְי אֵלַי הֵיטַבְתָּ לִרְאוֹת כִּי־שֹׁקֵד אֲנִי עַל־דְּבָרִי לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ׃

“Moreover the word of HaShem came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, “I see a branch of an almond (shaqeid) tree.” 12 Then HaShem said to me, “You have seen well, I will hasten (shoqeid) my word to perform it.”
Jeremiah 1:11

The almond itself has significant Biblical significance, that HaShem will watch and rapidly perform His word. The Abarbanel is cited as saying,

“Normally, when almonds grow, the flowers fall off first. But here a miracle occurred and the flowers, unripened fruit, and almonds all were present at the same time.”
Abarbanel cited at Chabad.org [10]

It seems that the three stages of the almond tree were present at ones, past, present and future bound up in this Staff. The word for bud (tzitz) links to the crown of the High Priest, which was also called the Tzitz, as the Chizkuni says,

ויצץ ציץ, “it had budded;” a sign that priests would come forth. The High Priests descended from Aaron would wear this ציץ, headband, engraved with the word: kodesh, holy, on their forehand (compare Exodus 28,36). ויגמול שקדים, “it bore ripe almonds.” This was an allusion to the eagerness with which the priests descended from Aaron would perform their duties.”
Chizkuni, Numbers 17:23:2, Sefaria.org [11]

The connection between the priesthood and the almond tree is manifold. R’ Ginsburg points out that even the word Qodesh, Holy, is an anagram of Shoqed, Almond,

קדש = שקד

The Zohar links almonds to Judgment,

Almonds are sweet and also bitter, symbolizing condemnation and acquittal, although every instance in the Bible refers to condemnation only.”
Zohar 2:15b

The Staff therefore is the instrument of both judgment and blessing, the Conduit through which flows HaShem’s decrees – those of life and death. R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh describes the Staff,

“The staff (מַטֶה), a symbol of leadership, is by definition a barren piece of wood that naturally cannot blossom.”
R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org [12]

This “barren piece of wood”, this Staff was a branch, broken off, and yet bloomed – it experienced a resurrection. The Jewish Encyclopedia says,

“Its Hebrew name (sheked) is derived from a stem meaning to “waken” or “watch,” …The name is said to have been given because it was the first tree to awaken from the sleep of winter…”
Jewish Encyclopedia, Almond [13]

Like the Mashiach, this Almond Staff is the first to awaken from the dead, and then the rest of the trees of the field awaken. 

 “But now is Mashiach risen from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:20

In Revelation, Yeshua is called “the firstborn of the dead.” Like the almond staff of Aharon, Mashiach, the Branch, although dead, has become alive. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes that ancient believers in Yeshua had an account of Aaron’s Rod, that was “quite in haggadic-midrashic style, and must probably be ascribed to Jewish or, more strictly speaking, Jewish-Hellenistic sources.” [14] The source is in Clement’s letter to the Corinthians, as is as follows,

“For he, when jealousy arose concerning the priesthood, and there was dissension among the tribes which of them was adorned with the glorious name, commanded the twelve chiefs of the tribes to bring to him rods inscribed with the name of each tribe. And he took them and tied them and sealed them with the signet rings of the chiefs of the tribes, and put them away in the tabernacle of the testimony on the table of God. And having shut the tabernacle he sealed the keys and likewise also the doors. And he said unto them, “Brethren, the tribe whose rod shall bud, this hath God chosen to be priests and ministers unto Him.” Now when morning came, he called together all Israel, even the six hundred thousand men, and showed the seals to the chiefs of the tribes and opened the tabernacle of the testimony and drew forth the rods. And the rod of Aaron was found not only with buds, but also
bearing fruit.”
1 Clement 43:1-5, translated by J.B. Lightfoot [15]

The act of “sealing” the staves is an echo from the book of Daniel, where the Lion’s Den was sealed,

“And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.”
Daniel 6:17

It would seem plausible, that the Staff of Aharon was sealed in the Tabernacle of Witness so that no one could accuse Moshe or Aharon of switching the Staff. This also seems reminiscent of the Tomb of Yeshua,

Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together to Pilate, saying, “sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say to the people, “He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” Pilate said unto them, “You have a guard: go your way, make it as secure as you can. So they went, and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone, and set a watch.”
Matthew 27:62-66

Daniel says,

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”
Daniel 12:2-3

The New Testament teaches that there will be two resurrections,

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Messiah, and will reign with him one thousand years.”
Revelation 20:6

Interestingly, the Sages teach the same concept,

“It is well-known that there will be two resurrections: one for the righteous in the days of Moshiach and the other a general resurrection on the great day of judgment after the Messianic age. (See Radvaz, Responsa, vol 3, ch. 1069; Aruch LeNer on Sanhedrin 90b and Niddah 61b; and Ritva on Taanis 30b and Rosh HaShanah 16b. Also see Meiri, Chibbur HaTeshuvah, p.386; R. Saadyah Gaon, Sefer HaTechiyah VeHapedus, responsum 6; Tanna DeVei Eliyahu Rabba, chs. 3 and 5, and Zohar, “Shofetim.”)”
R’ Yehudah Chayoun, Otzros Acharis HaYamim, When Moshiach Comes, Targum/Feldheim, pg. 85, Footnote 4

Just as the almond staff of Aharon rose from the dead, being the instrument of judgment, so has the Son of Man risen from the dead, becoming the judge,

For just as the Father raises the dead, and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he wants. For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son.”
John 5:21-22

The Gospel of John, being written on the Sod level, is in agreement with Jewish mysticism’s description of the Holy Son (Zeir Anpin) who is the Judge. The Zohar links the staff to the Son,

“…the staff given to you will be a Tree of Life – denoting Vav, which is the son of Yud-Hei.”
Zohar, Exodus, Mishpatim 384, Zohar.com

R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh writes of the gematria of the Staff:

“We recall that Aaron’s staff is actually the staff representing the entire tribe of Levi, as such it is referred to in the Torah as “the staff of Levi” מַטֵה לֵוִי, the gematria of “staff” (מַטֵה ) is 54 and the gematria of Levi (לֵוִי ) is 46. Together the value of both words is 100 or 10 squared. Square numbers represent a state of consummate perfection and inter-inclusion. Aaron’s staff was thus in a state of essential perfection.We have already seen that “the staff of Levi” equals 100, or 102. The gematria of Aaron (אַהֲרֹן ) is 256 = 162! Both are square numbers. But, now note that the roots of these two squares are 10 and 16, which together equal 26, the value of Havayah (י־הוה ).”
R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org [16]

Interestingly, the gematria of Mateh Aharon is 316, and is equivalent to Yeshu, the name of Yeshua in exile from his people,

  ישו=מטה אהרון=316

316 = Staff of Aharon = Yeshu

 

The Staff is the “Son” who was the first to awaken from “sleep”, he is the Branch, which was broken off, but became alive again. He is the instrument through which HaShem blesses and judges the world. Today, he is called “Yeshu” in Israel, but he will be revealed soon.

THE SONS OF KORACH

Unlike their father, the sons of Korach did not die.

“However, the sons of Korach did not die…The sons of Korach were Asir, Elkanah and Aviasaf.”
Numbers 26:11, Exodus 6:24

The Talmud calls sons a “limb, i.e. an extension, of the father,” as Yitzhak Kasdan explains

“Indeed, this is the underpinning of the concept in the g’marah (Sanhedrin 104a) that “b’ra m’zakeh aba” – a son brings merit to his father through good deeds, learning Torah, etc. He does so because “b’ra kareih d’avuah” (cf. Eruvin 70b), a son is considered an extension – literally the leg – of his father, either because the son and father are part and parcel of each other (i.e., are joined together) or because the father is considered the gorem, the cause, of his son’s actions (i.e., since the son emulates him by following in his footsteps). In other words, the son’s actions and accomplishments are considered as the father’s and are credited to the father.”
Yitzhak Kasdan, Understanding The Mitzvah of Hesped [17]

 In the case of Korach’s sons, they chose a different path. Instead of being an extension of their father, they became the extension of their Father in heaven. They lived to write one of the most amazing Psalms among the tehillim,

“To the chief Musician, Maskil, for the sons of Korach.
As the deer pants after the water brooks,
So my soul pants after You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42:1-2

In a world full of Korachs, the book of Numbers says,

וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה כְקֹרַח

“Don’t be like Korach”
Numbers 17:5

Rather, we should emulate Aharon, as Hillel said,

“Be disciples of Aharon, loving peace, pursuing peace, loving people and drawing them near to the Torah.”
Pirkei Avot 1:13

In doing so, we will fulfill the Tefilat Mashiach, the Prayer of Messiah, who is the embodiment of Shalom, the Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace. You were born into this fractured world, this world of division – for a purpose.  You have within your hands a small puzzle piece of shalom that only you can place into the bigger picture.

Scientific studies have shown that the brain sees tools or instruments in the hand as an extension of the limb. [18] Once the hand “connects” to the instrument, the Brain does not differentiate between the hand and the tool. The tool is incorporated into the brain’s map of the body, becoming “one” with the person. The brain of Israel is the Holy Son, the Mashiach Yeshua, who is the yechida, the Universal Soul, of all. The Torah calls the Staff of Moshe/Aharon,

מטה אלקים – Mateh Elokim
“The Rod of God”
Exodus 17:9

When Moshe and Aharon picked up the Rod of God, it became an extension of themselves. When they allowed HaShem’s will to flow through them into the rod, they themselves became the Staff of HaShem. One achieves this level when one nullifies the ego, bittul ha’yesh, the nullification of all that there is. Where HaShem’s will becomes your will. At that moment, you become an extension of Mashiach, who is the extension of HaShem, as he said, “Not my will, but Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42, John 6:38). At this level, Everything is One. Ein od milvado, as Yeshua the Messiah said,

אַשְׁרֵי רֹדְפֵי שָׁלוֹם כִּי־​בְנֵי אֱלֹהִים יִקָּרֵא לָהֶם׃

“Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9


REFERENCES

    1. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Korach: Rebellion, Aish.com
    2. R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org
    3. Ask the Rabbi: As Great as Moses, Aish.com
    4. Midrash Rabbah, cited at Chabad.org, Bereishit: Parsha in Depth
    5. Pirkei Avot 5:6, Sefaria.org
    6. Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 40
    7. Jewish Encyclopedia, Rod of Aaron
    8. Rabbeinu Bachya, Bamidbar 17:23:2
    9. Rabbi Tovia Singer, Outreach Judaism, The Lord said to my Lord
    10. Abarbanel cited at Chabad.org, Fruit on the Staff
    11. Chizkuni, Numbers 17:23:2, Sefaria.org
    12. R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org
    13. Jewish Encyclopedia, Almond
    14. Jewish Encyclopedia, Aaron’s Rod
    15. 1 Clement 43, translated by J.B. Lightfoot, EarlyChristianWritings.com
    16. R’ Yitzchak Ginsburg, Parshat Korach: The Secret of Aaron’s Staff, Inner.org
    17. Understanding the Mitzvah of Hesped by Yitzhak Kasdan, JLaw.com
    18. Discover Magazine, Brain treats tools as temporary body parts, Ed Yong
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